HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Representative Lisa Bourcier says the new flood maps presented by FEMA have been in the works since 2005.
The update qualified several new areas for high risk flooding, including Bucksport, Socastee and parts of Conway. Of the 18,000 new properties added, Bourcier said any homes or businesses being mortgaged will now be required to carry flood insurance.
"It's FEMA's job to put out these maps and it's the county's job to let those property owners know what changes could effect them. We sent out 65,000 post cards on Friday to all the properties that are currently in a flood zone, or those that could potentially be added to a flood zone." said Bourcier.
Bourcier added people living in these areas will want to check where their homes are at now to see if they fall inside the new flood zone.
FEMA officials said updated technology was used to determine which areas posed the most risk. The flooding in October was not a factor in those decisions.
Jeff Weeks, who works at the Bucksport Marina, said he understands why it's important to be insured. However, he foresees several neighbors having issues with the new mandate.
"I do believe in a certain amount of personal responsibility, and if you've got a mortgage or something and a house that you need to take care of or a building or something, it makes sense that you should have insurance if you're in a high risk area. The argument is going to be if you're in a high risk area or not." said Weeks.
Two meetings will be held on March 2 and March 3, both of which will open to the public. FEMA and Horry County officials are expected to be there to answer any questions.